NFL Thoughts…

Sunday morning came the headlines on ESPN.com about how the New York Giants might fire their head coach by Monday… just hours before the club was set to take on the Raiders in Oakland. The word was that the ownership was unhappy with the way the Eli Manning benching was handled.

C’mon. This is just an easy out for ownership, which I would say is pretty gutless. If you didn’t want Geno Smith playing, then why did you suggest to the GM and coach a few weeks back to take a look at other quarterbacks with the season winding down? Don’t just throw that idea out there and then not back your coach (or GM, for that matter) once the decision had been made – and after the public began attacking your organization for the move. The Giants ownership… gutless.

It’s too bad the New Orleans Saints play in a competitive NFC South. Even after an eight-game winning streak gave them an 8-2 record, they still had to beat Carolina today to give themselves some breathing room. The Saints are now 9-3, essentially two games up on the Panthers (8-4) by virtue of having swept the season series. But the Saints can’t let up yet, as they have another big game against Atlanta on Thursday Night Football and a second tilt against the Falcons a couple weeks later. I’ve picked the Saints to win the NFC every year, and I’m not about to stop.

A few weeks back, I was questioning whether or not Drew Brees was hurt, as the team had been relying on the running game and less on Brees’s arm. The TD totals are down and the passing yards are down too… but I guess it’s worked out as the running game has proven to be what’s put them in first place thus far.

And just like the way I’ve been picking New Orleans to come out of the NFC every year, I do the same with New England in the AFC. And another week, another record for Tom Brady, who’s now beaten Buffalo 27 times in his career!

I was happy to see the Atlanta Falcons lose at home to Minnesota, and finally Matt Ryan’s touchdown streak (at 30 games) came to an end. I’d been monitoring this and had been worried he might climb up the all-time list – Ryan’s streak is in the top 10 – but am glad that he’s not going to break Brees’s all-time record. It’s amazing when you look at Brees’s record – he actually had a stretch of 100 games where threw at least one TD pass in 99 of them. So, that’s why I was questioning Brees’s health when he didn’t have any TD passes against Chicago and then Buffalo earlier this year.

And this is actually not a football thought, but it involves Eli Manning again and the “Captain” Derek Jeter. As the story goes, Jeter in 2004 called Manning on his cell to offer the then-rookie QB encouragement. Now, it’s not about the calls the “Captain” is making – it’s about the calls he’s not. Word came out last week about how Jeter’s Marlins fired a scout – described as a baseball lifer – as he’s recovering from colon cancer. That’s pretty gutless. But that’s not all. Jeter didn’t even make the call to tell the poor fellow. That came shortly after the Marlins’ broadcast team was also let go. Even though Fox has taken ownership of that decision, rumblings are that Jeter (and his group) had some influence on the call. So…. When I went on TSN1040 Vancouver in the summer to say Jeter wouldn’t be a unanimous Hall of Famer, I was ridiculed. This was before all this Jeter bad press. Now, I am sure others will agree with me that Jeter won’t get 100% of the votes when it’s his turn on the ballot. I’m guessing some writers will not vote him based on his dealings as part-owner with the Marlins.

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